Wednesday 23 October 2019

Irish holidaymakers impacted as Thomas Cook ceases trading with immediate effect

Stock Image: Getty Images
Stock Image: Getty Images

Aoife Walsh and Pól Ó Conghaile

A number of Irish holiday makers are amongst the 600,000 travellers left stranded as a result of travel company Thomas Cook's closure.

The 178-year-old company pulled out of the Irish market several years ago, but some Irish holidaymakers may have travelled through the UK or Belfast International, from which it operated several routes.

The travel operator has 20 shops in Northern Ireland, which will now close.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said there are currently more than 600,000 travellers stranded abroad after the company failed to raise a sum of €225m needed to keep the company afloat.

More than 150,000 of those are Britons.

However, Independent.ie understands that less than 100 Irish holidaymakers have been impacted.

"The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has, through its member travel agents, received reports of a minimal number of holidaymakers from the Republic of Ireland being affected," it said.

Though operating no flights from the Republic, Thomas Cook did operate "around a dozen" flights from Belfast each week over the summer, it added, "and many Irish people from the north could be affected".

The Commission for Aviation Regulation has said that Irish customers due to return to the UK on or before October 6 will be accommodated on a new flight.

Depending on their location, this will be either on flights organised by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority, or by using existing flights with other airlines. Go to thomascook.caa.co.uk for details.

Customers who travelled from Belfast, can avail of a repatriation flight to Belfast.

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